Eating out can be a challenge when you're trying to maintain a healthy diet, but it's not impossible. With a little planning and some smart choices, you can enjoy a meal out without sabotaging your healthy eating habits. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:
1. Research the menu ahead of time. Before you go out to eat, check out the restaurant's nutrition menu online. If they don’t have one look for a similar restaurant nutrition menu. Look for healthier options, such as grilled or baked entrees, salads, (remember salad dressing can have a lot of calories) and vegetable side dishes. This way, you'll know what to order when you get there. Also account for extra fat when eating out as most restaurants will cook in butter or oil. (I only recommend doing this if you're in a calorie deficit.)
2. Watch your portion sizes. Restaurants often serve large portions, so be mindful of how much you're eating. Consider splitting an entree with a friend or taking half of your meal home for later.
3. Limit your intake of high-calorie drinks. Avoid sweetened beverages like soda and sweet tea, which can add lots of calories to your meal. Instead, opt for water, unsweetened tea, or diet soda.
4. Ask for dressing and sauces on the side. This allows you to control how much you're consuming and helps you avoid dressings or sauces that may be high in fat, sugar, or calories.
5. Choose healthier cooking methods. Look for entrees that are grilled, roasted, or baked rather than fried. This can help you reduce your intake of unhealthy fats.
6. Don't be afraid to make substitutions. Many restaurants are willing to make substitutions or modifications to their dishes. For example, you can ask for extra veggies instead of french fries, your veggies steamed, or a side salad instead of a high calorie side dish.
Remember, it's okay to enjoy a treat or indulge every once in a while. Eating out should be a fun experience, and it's important to find a balance between healthy eating and enjoying your favorite foods. Hope these tips help with eating out.